2011 Year in Review: Iraq
U.S. to Withdraw Completely from Iraq
Arab Spring Creates Tumult in the Middle East | European Nations Battered by Euro Debt Crisis | Osama bin Laden Killed in Pakistan | Advances in Nuclear Program Lead to Additional Sanctions | Hope for Peace Fades for Israelis and Palestinians | World Population Reaches a New Milestone | Prince William and Kate Middleton Marry in a Lavish Royal Wedding
As the U.S. was making plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, the ongoing insurgent activity in the country cast doubt on the long-term security of the country. This uncertainty was highlighted on Aug. 15, 2011, when insurgents launched more than 40 coordinated attacks throughout the country, mostly on civilians. A total of 89 people died and more than 300 were wounded in the violence, which came in the form of suicide attacks, car bombs, and gunfire. Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia took credit for the attacks, saying they were retribution for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The lethality of the attacks made clear that Iraq is far from secure and a hotbed of insurgent activity. mdash;numbering some 39,000—would fully withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year. He had planned to keep about 5,000 troops in Iraq as advisers and trainers, but rescinded the decision when Iraq said the remaining troops would not be given immunity from Iraqi law. About 150 members of the Defense Department staff will remain in Iraq to maintain the security of the U.S. Embassy and the oversee the sale of military equipment to Iraq. In addition, the CIA will maintain a presence in the country. Obama's decision ended a war that lasted nearly nine years, killed more than 4,440 U.S. troops, and cost about $1 trillion.
For more information on the state of Iraq in 2011:
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